Strengthening cooperation in the Sahel

Project description

Title: Regional project for strengthening cooperation in the Sahel
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union
Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, regional cooperation
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

Workshop of the Sahel Alliance working groups on ‘decentralisation and basic services’ and ‘governance’ together with national and local partners. Niamey, November 2019. Organised by GIZ on behalf of BMZ in cooperation with UNDP. © giz/Aude Rossignol

Context

The G5 Sahel countries – Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad – face numerous challenges, including increased violence and a lack of economic prospects for the predominantly young population. Many people have insufficient access to essential public services such as water, health and education. Climate change and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are weakening the region further.

The Sahel Alliance, founded in 2017, supports the G5 countries in their efforts to achieve stability and development. The focus of the partnership is on improving coordination between stakeholders in the Sahel region and strengthening political dialogue with the G5 Sahel countries in order to drive reforms.

Objective

The effectiveness of the development contributions of the members of the Sahel Alliance has been raised.

Meeting of the Sahel Alliance steering committee in June 2021, chaired by C Rauh, Africa Director, BMZ (top right). © giz/Aude Rossignol

Approach

The regional project has been tasked with running the secretariat of the Sahel Alliance (Unité de Coordination, UCA) in Brussels until mid-2022. The aim is to strengthen the Sahel Alliance structurally and technically. The UCA coordinates the members and carries out PR work in the name of the Sahel Alliance. Five experts based in the Sahel countries are responsible for establishing a close dialogue with member structures and partners at local level.

In addition, a project team in Bonn and Eschborn supports the work of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in relation to the Sahel region and the Sahel Alliance. To this end, the project maintains an ongoing dialogue with the projects and offices of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the G5 Sahel countries. This makes it possible to incorporate key elements of the Sahel Alliance into German development cooperation. At the same time, the project can offer BMZ local feedback in the form of lessons learned and strategic recommendations. That information can be used in turn to improve the processes of the Sahel Alliance.

Links have also been established with the project Regional Competence Development for Decentralisation in West Africa as a source of expert advice on decentralisation issues.

Last update: September 2021

The portfolio of the Sahel Alliance includes some 1,000 projects of its 14 members amounting to almost EUR 22 billion. There is a focus on agriculture, rural development and food security. Pictured here: sustainable agriculture in Burkina Faso. © giz/Aude Rossignol